Tuesday, 18 October 2016

D.H. Vampire T.11

This is another quick build I have done over the last couple of months. This new tooling Vampire T.11 from Airfix is a beautiful kit to build. From what I believe, the marking for this aircraft is meant to be of RAF 239OCU, my father old unit from the late 1950's. So I have decided to try and build one of each type of aircraft from this era of the unit. The Vampire is readily available complete with these marking, now I just need to get a Meteor T.7, plus a Hunter T.7 and F.6 to complete the line up.

This model was built straight out of the box and painted using Xtracolor High Speed Silver. I also added some seat belts inside using thin blue masking tape. "Blue" I hear you say, but I have seen both blue and beige seat belts in these Vampires in different photographs. A little unusual for me, I did not weather this model, or will not any of the other three aircraft. These training unit aircraft always seemed to be kept nice and clean from the photographs that I have seen.

So now, I just need to track down the other aircraft I need for this little project. The Meteor is currently available, but the Hunters might be a little more awkward to find.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Higgins LCVP, 1/72nd Scale Airfix

Why does it happen, that over a period of a couple of months, everything goes wrong?

Through August and September, we have had things go wrong with the car twice, the freezer, the washing machine and then a leak in the main bathroom damaging the floor and resulting in the whole thing being stripped out to be redone. Also at the beginning of the August, Kyran went and fell off the hammock in the garden breaking his arm needing surgery on it. Hence, there not being any updates on the blog over the last two months. 

But in between all of these dramas, I have managed to do a little bit of modelling to keep me in a calmer frame of mind. I decided to keep things simple and not too taxing so I started with the Airfix 1/72nd scale Higgins LCVP. This is a very nice model to build, ideal for someone to create a diorama with. Construction was straight forward, with everything going together without any issues. I got the model built up to the main structure before priming the whole model. I first airbrushed the interior and upper deck with grey, followed by brush painting the white areas of the Royal Navy scheme which I chose for this project. After a couple of coats of white, I mixed the blue shade and hand painted the dark shade of the camouflage. To finish off the main painting of the hull, I painted below the waterline with brick red as in the instructions. The hull now had a couple of coats of gloss clear, before adding the three decals and sealing them with some matt clear.

Whilst it was sitting on the shelf drying, I looked at the model thinking to myself that it was too clean. Now was a chance to try out some new products I had picked up at a show recently. This consisted of AK Interactive's Rust Streaks, Streaking Grime and Interior Wash. The rust streaks I think worked with great effect, I simply just used different brushes and played around. The rest of the model was finished off using the other two washes and metal pigment on the worn areas on the deck. Final detail painting and assembly was done and I added the cables for the ramp using some lead detailing wire.

I was very happy with the end result, Airfix did a good job with this kit. So far, it has been displayed at two shows and has received a fair bit of attention. The weathering has been the main conversation with one person stating it was the best Landing Craft model he has seen built so far.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Dambuster Vulcan

Well, this is the little project I am doing for the Driffield Show in two weeks time. I had always had the urge to build a Vulcan either landing or taking off. But doing this in 1/72nd scale was going to be a problem, so the plan was to get hold of either a 1/144th or 1/200th scale Vulcan kit. Now earlier this year, I finally got hold of one, the Dragon 1/200th scale kit with Blue Steel missile.

Construction was straight forward, just a little filling in some gaps between the upper and lower fuselage halves. A basic kit in all, but it does come with the ladder if you want the access door open to the cockpit. 

I used a short length of acrylic rod to mount the model on, shaping it to fix into a opening in the rear section of the fuselage. At the present time, the rod is a bit longer than required. Once the base is made, it will be cut down to the required size for it to hold the model just above the base. All of the undercarriage gear has been assembled ready for painting, but they are held on in place in these photos with blutac just for the photos. 

Now jump a little and the Vulcan has been airbrushed with Mr Hobby gloss white followed with a couple of coats of Alclad Aqua Gloss clear. The kit has two options of marking for this kit, XM 595 of the Scampton Wing, RAF Scampton in 1970. This is with camouflage upper surface and white on the lower surface. I chose to go with the other option, anti-flash white in the marking of XL 321, No.617 "Dambusters" Squadron, RAF Scampton in 1962. The reason I went with the Dambuster aircraft is so it can be displayed with my Dambuster Lancaster and Tornado with the anniversary markings on (once they are built!).  

Even in this scale, Dragon have supplied a pilot and co-pilot figures. I am not sure if they will be seen through the windows, but I have painted and glued them in place just in case.

Decals all finished, cockpit canopy glued in place, paint touched up and model cleared.

Detail painting and final assembly all finished, and yes, it is tail heavy. But this is okay as any extra weigh in the nose would effect the model standing on the acrylic rod in the base.

The final piece of the model to be fitted. The instruction said to paint the missile with Mr Hobby's smoke blue. This is a translucent paint and I was not sure it this was right. All of the Blue Steel missiles that I have seen in person were white, so after some searching around on the net, I found some photos of some 617 Sqdn Vulcans, from this period with missiles painted blue. So the smoke blue was airbrushed in light coats over gloss white, and believe it or not, the shade is very close to the blue that the missiles were painted back then. In the various photos I found, some missile had markings on them and some did not. These marking also varied to, so using the decals left on the sheet, I added the small roundals and a couple of warning marking to the missile to finish it off before gluing it to the model.

The last stage of this project is the base to mount the Vulcan on. I did not want to make the normal shaped base for this project, but one in a similar shape to the Vulcan. So I cut out a silhouette shape of the model in paper and used it to come up with a shape for the base. After some measuring and playing with shapes, I came up with this offset diamond shaped base. Once it was cut out, I routered the edges and then sealed the MDF to ready it for painting.  

The next post (hopefully in a couple of days) will be of the model fixed to the finished base.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

EE Lightning F1 Finished

The Lightning is finished and I am happy, well, very pleased with the final result. There was a few little hiccups along the way with her, of which a couple of the corrections have effected the end look. But this was only built for fun and not for entering into competitions.

The model has had some light weathering done to her including a dirt wash using Promodeller/Flory Models dark dirt wash. Once the final assembly was done, I finished off with a dusting of my grime mix through the airbrush along the leading edges, etc.

Would I build another Lightning in this scale? I don't know yet. The main problem is the size of her in 1/48th, which is also making me think about the four Canberra's I also have in this scale. If I did do another, then I might try one of the trainers that Sword Models do. I already have both the T.4 and T.5 from them in 1/72nd scale, so one of their 1/48th scale Lightnings might have to slip its way in.

Thought I  would also show how the resin ejector seat looked like before I fitted it in place. It was given an initial coat of Tamiya semi-gloss black first, then finished off using Vallejo paints. The decals which went on the kit seat were used on the resin seat to finish it off.

Any comment or questions about this model will be welcomed.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

McLaren F1 WIP #1

I needed something to do during my down time at work again, so I dug out this Aoshima McLaren F1 kit. It was not a fresh start, I had already begun drilling out the holes in the disc brakes (a laborious task!) using a pin vise. So this process was finished off before proceeding with the rest of the model. 

The chassis had the suspension assembled and fixed to it and checked for alignment. The bodyshell now had any mould lines removed and blemished dealt with. Aoshima had managed to keep most of the mould lines along the edges and only a few crossing the exposed areas of panels. 

The doors were also cleaned up and the model was test assembled to see it there was any issues to be dealt with. The first thing that I did not really like was the tyres on the model. The rear ones especially look a bit too large profile compared to the real car, so I will be changing this with some resin aftermarket wheels. I also noticed a couple of sink marks on the door upper surfaces, these will need filling. This kit has the option of having the doors open or closed, so I need to decide if I have one, both or none open on the model.

Now jump a week or so, the bodyshell has been sorted out and doors had the sink marks filled and sanded. A decision on the doors was also made and I opted to open just the right hand door and fitted the mounting points to enable this to happen. The final bits and pieces were sorted out to bring the model up to the stage of painting. So at this point, I will have to put the project on pause until the Lightning is done and another little project is finished for an upcoming show. Now, what colour do I paint this? This is the next decision to make on the McLaren!